The Problem of Staff and Social Media in Estate / Letting Agency

Should you let your staff become the face of your lettings/estate agency?

A lot of you will know I believe that people buy from people and estate/lettings agency is a people business.

Hence I suggest you use social media (and ultimately video) to show your and your firm off .. so people can engage with you. This is important with the increase of social media and influencer-marketing. There are huge opportunities for agents to become the “local go-to person on property” …

But where is the balance between the firm and the person and how do you balance the person vs the brand?

Easy if it is you, the boss person, in front of the camera … but what if you don’t want to be the front person and its an employee who is front of stage?

How do the two work together? …and should they?

Should you bolt together your estate/letting agency brand with your employees? Should agents enthusiastically support their employees to use the landlord farming technique of being the local property guru? …and talking about this .. one could say this is a Pandora’s Box … as one might ask how do you control your staff with social media?

You have to admit, as an employer , you will have some concerns – they don’t want to make stellar employees so noticeable so they become poachable by your competitors or even worse,  you are worried that those stellar employees will outshine you and the agency’s brand.

Yet, social media is in everyone’s lives’ now, the option to dissuade or veto employees from talking about their bosses (and their firms) openly isn’t realistic. In fact, I would say it’s not only possible, but highly beneficial to influence the power of personal social media (ie personal-brand) in conjunction with the company brand. Expressing your comany brand stories through your employees (their personal brand) allows for more faith with the audience, a separate voice, a contrast from your competitor estate/letting agents, an drawn-out reach, and enduring power they will never have.

Cultivating employees’ personal brands also is a smart marketing factor in the recruiting of good staff to your agency as it shows your agency cares about developing the staff who work for it.

For the employers who are still concerned their employees will leave for because the grass is greener on the other side, ought to move their focus to the positives of people leaving. Unquestionably, employees will always leave, but they will do that with or without your help or guidance. If your estate/letting agency facilitated and cultivated their personal brand, they may achieve positions at other estate/letting agency’s that could profit their preceding employer or, at least, they will speak well of your firm (otherwise they will look stupid).

What should you do? If you want your staff  and their personal-brands to enhance your estate/letting agency, you must be strategic.

Here are a few vital steps.

  1. Let’s start with the basics …

You must guard the brand of your estate / letting agency from staff revealing copyrighted or confidential information. However, just don’t use that as a motive to go over the top and pedantic with limitations with your social media procedures.

Its all about common sense when posting.… but what should those procedures look like?

My intuition tells me this  .. just tell them … “I trust you” … You are equally the best person in the best position to tell the world why our estate/letting agency is such an astonishing place to work and the person best placed to defend our agency from damage. Don’t criticise our agency or our competitors estate / letting agents. When you are social media, you are partly there on behalf of our agency: the people who work there and the values of our agency. There is no room for intolerance, bias, sexism, or hate in our estate/letting agency or on our related social media feeds.

  1. Don’t control worktime access to social media

In some agency’s, staff are not allowed to use social media because of limits prescribed by the boss of the ITdept. However, if you want your staff to grow their personal brand in conjunction with your estate/letting agency branding, you have to trust them sufficiently to give them admission to their social media during their workday. If you dont, they will shape their own personal brands separate from your company branding (or perish the thought, with pessimism and negative-ness toward their boss (and firm)

  1. Make it easy and appealing for staff to tell your agency’s story

Agreeing your staff to have a dialogue about your agency on Facebook/Twitter etc  is a primary step. If you can encourage them to express your agency’s belief’s, passions, goals and story you will then get your employees suggesting their own thoughts and opinions to move the agency forward. I have seen it with many agents where their staff get intricately involved in other ways in the landlord farming technique… become the leaders and drivers with new ideas and opinions.

By recognise those personalities whose contributions lead to the most social media shares, likes, greatest retweets, most engagement – you will have staff that become more engaged and more involved

…and engaged staff are less likely to leave you

Thank you for reading this .. I hope it has helped you.

Christopher Watkin

PS For more thoughts like this .. please come over to my 600+ post blog on being a better Estate / Letting Agent https://goo.gl/PXD4sD

 

Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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